It doesn't come as s suprise, that if Van Morrison where about to choose one album to perform live, it would be 'Astral Weeks'. The 1968 'Astral Weeks' is a timeless classic but there's always this worrying criticism that he could ruin the mythic around the album with a live performance. I have heard the Hollywood Bowl is suppose to be a terrific spot and this is where this live concerts take place. I found it a shame to myself that I haven't actually been there and watched a singe concert since I moved here but I'll just have to do like everybody else. Listen to it on my iPod and say what I think.
In this case, a catastrophy is far away from what the result becomes. The opening with 'Astral Weeks/I Believe That I Have Trancended' aholds up somewhat a terrific touch of settle, which is needed for a version of a classic rock album. After a not so strong 'Beside You', Van Morrison creates a timeless version of Slim Slow Slider. There's a calmness and softness that relies on the original version I can image Van Morrison sitting on a stool as the crowd falls into the fantastic rythm of the song. It surprises me that this strong of a song comes this early and this only brings me hope to the rest.
The concert goes along great and it really keeps this terrific, magical atmosphere and it's not untill the peak when you'll get surpised by the magic eloded into the bowl. 'Cyprus Avenue' comes out terrifcly well, it's timeless and probably the edge of the concert so far. It keeps me settled in my bed. I can't think clearly, if I'm just glad or if the bittersweet and tender music controls my mood. Followed by 'Ballerina', 'Madame George' and a side kick from 'Astral Weeks' with 'Listen to The Lion/The Lion Speaks, originally from 'Listen to The Lion' that appeared on Morrison's fantastic 'St Dominic's Preview' from 1972.
Van Morrison finishes off, perfect. You can sense the jazz influences from the great rock poet and the music, the atmosphere and deapths of this concert becomes timeless in a large sense. The fresh mix, the hard jazz sounds and the amazing violin played by Tony Fitzgibbon captures the beautiful pieces that makes you wish you where there that night.